ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Aditya NigamSubscribe to Aditya Nigam

Looking towards the Future

No Borders: Journeys of an Indian Journalist by Mukul Sharma; Daanish Books, Delhi, 2006; pp 248, Rs 425 (hardback). ADITYA NIGAM No Borders by well known journalist and activist, Mukul Sharma, is a journalistic account of struggles of common people all over the world, as well as a bold attempt to break out of the normal representational conventions of the global media industry. These conventions, whereby the western man comments, theorises on and makes available information and knowledge about the global east/south to it and the rest of the world, are as much part of the media industry as of the global academic world. In this representational schema, as the author puts it, the south is either mired in poverty or in fratricidal conflict, or is at best a place of emerging markets. These conventions, it is well known, are constituted by intricate power relations in such a way that they traverse even radical and liberal ends of the spectrum.

Genealogies of Globalisation: Unpacking the 'Universal' History of Capital

This essay is a preliminary attempt to revisit the history of capital and capitalism with a view to unravelling its supposedly universal character and so-called historical inevitability. With this aim, it re-reads Marx as a critic and historian of capital, and finds in him and his legatees a continuing tension between the belief in capital's universality and its actual failure-to-be in most of the world. This assumption of capital's inevitability continues unshaken even when it is clear that short of state elites' conscious intervention, capitalism just does not seem to take hold.

A Text without Author

Constitutions are rarely about change; they are codes that legitimise the new dispensation that arises out of historical conflicts and struggles. They provide a quasi-permanent shape to the new regime. In this sense, constitutions are already in existence even before they come to be formally written. The Indian Constitution too can be looked at in a similar light if it is 'disclosed' from the authorised location that brought it into existence, i e, the constituent assembly. This paper looks at the constituent assembly as an 'event' in the hope of understanding how different currents and polyphonic voices came together in the forming of the conjuncture within which the assembly took shape - as demanded by the imperatives of a common territory, tradition and history.

Between Memory and History

Between Memory and History Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India by Gyanendra Pandey; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, (Contemporary South Asia Series) UK, 2001; pp 218, Price not given.

Imagining the Global Nation

India's entry into the global arena opens up immense imaginative possibilities for the new elite imagination of a deterritorialised global nation, which is in turn is predicated upon a fuller incorporation into the global economy. This incorporation leads to a rapid disjunction of temporal experience with the nation-space in such a way that it breaks irrevocably with the nation-building framework and in the process unhinges the everyday popular from nation-time.

Secularism, Modernity, Nation

The emphasis on the language of 'merit', 'efficiency' and class has enabled the upper caste discourse to repress successfully the category of caste. But in the post-Mandal period, the 'secularity' of caste and the dalit movement have proved effective in combating the rising Hindutva forces, even making 'caste' respectable. However, even as the radical and secular potential of caste is stressed, there is little attempt to theorise the question of caste. This paper explores the theoretical implications of a radical, secular politics and to unravel the existentialist dilemmas of dalit politics.

Logic of Failed Revolution

The CPI(M) today has to come to terms with the fact of its rapidly growing irrelevance and its increasingly diminishing purchase over the developments in Indian politics and elsewhere. Like other parties, the CPI(M) too is increasingly undergoing a process of federalisation. In the future any renewal of socialist/communist politics is likely to happen only through a democratic alliance of state level or even smaller formations rather than through a top-down party.

The 'War in Europe'

In the dichotomised world of contemporary politics it is often overlooked that opposition to the fanatic and brutal nationalism of Milosevic must not be allowed to mean support for NATO's cynical use of the banner of 'human rights' in order to cover up its strategic interests.

Marxism and The Postcolonial World

What is it that Marx can still offer us? Why hark back to him and his legacy? Why not abandon him altogether and construct our very own theories? Such queries can be answered by asserting simply, that the major resources that can provide even the starting points of a new emancipatory theory lie within the tradition of Marx. More importantly, just as the 'original Marx' is lost to us, so is the 'pre-marx' era of human thought. This essay attempts to open up the space for a reconstruction of a new emancipatory vision for the 'third world', which cannot but draw heavily on marxism, even if it is marxism reincarnated.

Right to Work-Reading Rights through Discourse on Work

Reading 'Rights' through Discourse on 'Work' Aditya Nigam Recently certain post-modernist and post-modern feminist perspectives maintain that the language of rights and justice has outlived its emancipatory potential since it is always addressed to the state and law, leading to arming of the state with more powers. While approving of the need to counter this tendency of dependence on the state to initiate changes, this article argues that popular movements nevertheless cannot do away with' the language of rights as it remains the sole language of proclaiming their subjectivity and agency. Moreover, the privileging of the particularistic nature of rights-claim in the post-modern discourse is itself paradoxically premised on a universal notion of equality for its justification. All people have a right to their own way of life, cultures and belief-systems only if we hold that no single culture or rationality can be privileged over the others.

Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony-Understanding Indian Communism

Understanding Indian Communism IT is the business of social scientists to explain not only what happens in history but often, what does not happen. By asking the question 'why X did not happen?', we are in Tact, simultaneously stating that it should have happened. This 'should' however, needs to be amplified. It does not refer to any normative or moral imperative, but arises from an implicit understanding that given certain conditions. X could have been an expected outcome, There are, of course, no logical necessities in history, but always a range of possibilities immanent in any given situation, and not all of them are even empirical possibilities. These possibilities may or may not materialise, depending upon a number of factors. While possibilities or potentialities are determined by longer-term and deeper forces at work for instance, the dialectic of productive forces and production relations, the level of development of class forces or structures of domination, in any given society at any given time -the aciualisation of those possibilities follows an entirely different logic. Accidents, contingencies and. above all, the strategic relations of farces all fusing into a given conjuncture, play the most crucial role in this regard What is of critical importance here is how far the political formations 'representing' various class forces correspond to the demands of the situation. The accident of who lead these political formations, too, can be of utmost significance in determining the course of events.


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